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【上苑评述】大卫 布鲁贝克(David Brubaker)在“超结构”展的发言 .

[2023-8-2 19:09:17]

【上苑评述】大卫 布鲁贝克(David Brubaker)在“超结构”展的发言

David Brubaker(left), American Art Research Scholars


      Welcome everyone to this opening of “Superstructuralism.” This exhibition title raises many questions. First, the theme of Superstructuralism connects ideas from quantum theory to the making of contemporary artworks. What is quantum theory? How is it relevant to appreciating the artworks here? Second, there is the response of the artists to the theme of the exhibition. In my opinion, the artists have met the challenge.  How then do they  open up and expand the topic?


      Let’s start with some of the thoughts about Superstructualism. As you can read in the forward printed on the wall, the term refers to a group of features: going beyond daily space-time, developing a new direction for the human soul and humanity, connecting art with literature and science, and moving from art to non-art. The result is new types of art, such as wave art, parallel art, black hole art.


      What are we to think about these features? We can ask first about the meaning of “daily space-time.” What is this ordinary or conventional way of perception? One possible meaning is the space-time of everyday things and objects, such as chairs or tables. Superstructuralism is a way of thinking that goes beyond human observation of things like that.  What is non-art? The idea here may be that art can move beyond traditional definitions of what art is. It is no longer limited to old ideas of realism; instead, artworks can be real things that convey scientific understanding.   


      How is this connected to quantum theory? This is hard to say when quantum theory poses so many puzzles. But this is a start: According to quantum theory, it is only possible to describe your own observations. So what is human life? It is multiple observers who exist in parallel with each other. What is the universe? It is multiple points of observation that interact with each other. All these points of observation can be thought of as the energy and structure of the universe.


      How does this fit the art here today? Have a look. Can you find paintings about human figures that interact, and where each figure also observes from its own space? You can see birds observing humans, and you can find humans imagining what it is like to be a bird. You can see artworks that imagine what it is like to be a fish. You can find artworks about observing human life in multiple ways; for example, the human is thought of an electronic function or device. You can find cities observed from above that are all connected by a glow of pure energy.     


      The artists also have more to say about observation. What is it to be a human observer? Are all perspectives describable by science? Some artists add a special message about where interactions between observers take place. Some imagine a more cosmic place from which multiple perspectives arise; call this Chaos. Others suggest a more human point of observation that comes before words and before scientific descriptions of interactions. For example, pages of poetry, with some words cut out, float out to create a space of emptiness. This emptiness is actual and right before your own eyes. It is a root of living and feelings of the heart.  


      There is also art here about observing with your eyes closed. This is the perspective of after-images. Can you imagine the after-images observed by another? Another work is also about tables and sitting on chairs. This realm is actual for humans and should not be neglected.


      So final thoughts? Tang Jun says that Superstructuralist theory contains ideas about the connection of multiple perspectives, and that these ideas have roots in classical Chinese philosophy. This is a strong point. Chinese philosophy also conveys the thought that things do not exist separately or apart from the individual observer.  This is to say that the natural life of a person includes the things that science can describe. Your natural life is also more than that. The exhibition suggests these points.  


      Ultimately, the idea for the exhibition is fruitful. The work here takes each of us closer to being human and alive. Enjoy the show.


David Brubaker, 2023.7.30.


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